Volume 43, Issue 1 (2014)
Empirical Investigation of Word Callers Who Are English Learners
Kerri Knight-Teague, Michael L. Vanderwood, & Erin Knight
Abstract. Oral reading fluency is frequently used in school settings to assess student reading skills, but it is somewhat commonly believed that some students can read words fluently while not comprehending (i.e., word callers). Previous studies examining the prevalence of word callers typically included native English speakers rather than English learners (ELs). Third- and fifth-grade ELs were screened with a measure of oral reading fluency and given a large-scale measure of reading comprehension. In addition, teacher judgments of participants' reading skills were explored with a focus on the accuracy of teachers' word caller nominations in their classrooms. The results showed that word callers who are ELs emerged at a similar level in the third (6%) and fifth (8%) grades. The third-grade proportion was higher than in previous studies with native English speakers. Analysis of teacher ratings indicated that there were inaccuracies associated with teachers' judgments of reading skills.
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